Posts in Category: Images

WHY I SPOOKED #9

spooks_final_production43

 
My good friend Keith and I talked about personal style a long long time ago and he lamented that so many famous photographers he came across will not make certain images until certain rules that he made has been fulfilled.

For example, there must be a cropped hand, there must be more unfocussed foreground, or there must be more shadow than highlight in a frame.

I didn’t think he was talking about me, but I think we are all guilty of it sometimes.

So the style vs substance issue will never go away. But why should it go away in the first place.

In SPOOKS, I certainly made certain rules but none cast in stone.

The #1 item on the list (I didn’t write it down, in case you wondered) is that it has to be an image that will make you wonder and that it has to allow you to make up your own stories.

I hope this pair, taken in Istanbul and Lisbon respectively, gives you enough fun.

Isn’t it obvious what they are doing?

Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe not.

Online Orders

Thank you for your interest, you can now place your online orders, for Singapore as well as international addresses.

All prices include handling and air parcel shipping charges. For international orders, please allow 2-3 weeks.


Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (Singapore only)




Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (International only)



 

WHY I SPOOKED #8

spooks_final_production13

spooks_final_production5

 
Photographs laid out in a book are mostly two-dimensional. But I am hoping that in some of my permutations, a third dimension can be created.

These two sets of images were taken in Oslo and Paris; Versailles and Prague.

To me they are part of a bigger maze, some kind of circle, with causes and effects.

Who is following whom? Over what? For what?

To me they are not stills, but a chain-reaction that won’t stop.

Online Orders

Thank you for your interest, you can now place your online orders, for Singapore as well as international addresses.

All prices include handling and air parcel shipping charges. For international orders, please allow 2-3 weeks.


Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (Singapore only)




Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (International only)



 

WHY I SPOOKED #7

spooks_final_production21

 
A lot of people asked me about my editing processes and I love to share whenever possible, but it is not always easy.

If I say I trust my feelings, it sounds vague right? But I do that most of the them.

In this case, I like the ‘inverted’ color combo in both frames. The left was taken in Paris, the right in Singapore. One has legs, the other one, hand. I think it is ‘funny’, and I have some stories in my head.

I am not at all scientific about such matters because I am mostly a rather disorganized person.

For SPOOKS, as with other previous projects, I used different approaches.

I made little thumbnails and carried them around, and slapped them on table like playing cards. I used Adobe Bridge to move things around until I got the kicks.

Sometimes I dreamed about them too.

Some spreads got the nod from the first try and were never changed. Others, I stared and procrastinated.

Even after the pages were printed, I continued to make new permutations in my head.

I will readily admit to anyone that I love editing as much as I love making images.

Online Orders

Thank you for your interest, you can now place your online orders, for Singapore as well as international addresses.

All prices include handling and air parcel shipping charges. For international orders, please allow 2-3 weeks.


Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (Singapore only)




Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (International only)



 

WHY I SPOOKED #6

spooks_final_production65

Admittedly, I have often fantasized that some of the characters in my book will be talked about so much that they will one day become ‘famous’ in their own ways. For instance, like The Elevator Girl in Robert Frank’s The Americans ;)

So it has been quite joyous to be checking my email and phone messages, to receive compliments masqueraded as just thoughtful comments.

A dear friend SMSed last week to thank me for not including him and his ‘illegal’ activities in my book. Another was conned into believing he is in it, and spent hours going through the book carefully to find himself, only to be told several hours later that “You are so sleazy you appear so many times in spirit.”

Another remarked that there is a voyeur in most of us, only Tay Kay Chin was honest and brave enough to turn that into a book.

A guy dragged his wife in, saying that after flipping a few pages, she refused to see anymore. In his opinion, I had succeeded in producing a groundbreaking work.

I am of course elated that my work is being discoursed and (mis)interpreted.

And I had said this before when I had an exhibition in a public space: I don’t feel like creating ‘art’ for the museum snobs. The greatest joy I get is in hearing ‘ordinary’ and real people like you create your own stories in your own way, and share with me something I didn’t even think about.

This is a big reason why I continue to love making pictures – so I can read and see your reactions. So please, keep them coming.

See? I got so carried away I forgot to talk about this set of pictures. They were taken in Shinjuku, at the same strip where Krispy Kreme is, several years apart. Every night that I returned to my hotel, I will see lonely people. Maybe they weren’t lonely, but I think the narrative is better if they are.

Do they all come here to find love?

Your guess is as good as mine.

You can now order this book from http://taykaychin.com/spooks/2013/08/21/orderspooksnow/

The Back Cover

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 8.06.16 AM

 

The back cover picture for SPOOKS was taken on June 21, 2013, in the new Apple Store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

I saw the man running up the staircase and didn’t even have time to focus or adjust the exposure.

Yes, there was only one shot.

I am very sure the goose and roast meat I ate in Wan Chai, half an hour before this encounter, helped.

Online Orders

Thank you for your interest, you can now place your online orders, for Singapore as well as international addresses.

All prices include handling and air parcel shipping charges. For international orders, please allow 2-3 weeks.


Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (Singapore only)




Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (International only)



 

Limited Edition Print: COVER GIRL

photoEdition of five, plus one artist’s proof
S$1200 per print*

1/5 and 2/5 SOLD. Three more available.

* The price includes two copies of Spooks, the book, when published. Delivery for the books will start in September 2013.
* By purchasing a print, you are making a direct and important contribution to the publication of Spooks, the book. Without your generous support, the financial burden of self-publishing this book will be significantly higher for me.

About the print:
- Paper size: 17″ x 22″
- Image size: 13.8″ x 20.8″
- Each print is carefully made with the Epson Stylus Pro 4800 Printer, using original Epson inks.
- The paper for this edition is Museo Silver Rag, 300gsm.
- You can find out more about the paper specifications for Museo Silver Rag paper here.
- Signed with title, edition number and year, in ink, recto and verso
- Seal of authenticity at lower right corner

Singapore shipping:
- Free hand delivery for any Singapore addresses.
- Each print is delivered in top grade Mylar or equivalent.

Overseas shipping:
- I will work with individual buyer on the best shipping option.
- Additional charges to be borne by buyer.
- Each print is delivered in top grade Mylar or equivalent, with additional protection for shipping

More info about digital printing in general:
- Wilhelm Imaging Research is the world authority on stability and preservation of traditional and digital photographs.

How to make an order:
Place your order by emailing me at kaychin@eastpix.com

What goes ‘into’ a print?
- Click here for more images

The Cover Picture

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 5.02.34 PM

The cover picture for SPOOKS was taken in July 2013 in Ebisu, Tokyo.

I saw the ‘spooky scene’ from across the road and told my friends to go ahead.

“Give me a few minutes,” I promised them.

In the end, I spent close to 100 seconds and made 18 frames in this sequence.

Three survived my rounds of edits.

One made the cover.

Online Orders
Thank you for your interest, you can now place your online orders, for Singapore as well as international addresses.

All prices include handling and air parcel shipping charges. For international orders, please allow 2-3 weeks.


Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (Singapore only)





Single copy inclusive of handling & shipping (International only)




The Lupe

photo

When I graduated from college in 1992, I rewarded myself by buying the princely Schneider Lupe 4x, back then the status symbol of a successful photographer and occasional picture editor.

This piece of equipment, just like the Leica M, would announce to the world that ‘I am ready’. I saw many famous photographers used them at Pictures of the Year judging sessions, and at the Missouri Photo Workshops, and decided that I must be one of the elite ;)

It was without a doubt an accessory I was proud to wear in my newspaper days.

For more than a decade, this loupe has been hidden away because shooting film became rarer and rarer.

But tomorrow, when I start my press check on SPOOKS, I am going to insist that it accompanies me while I scrutinize the registration marks, the color, and the grain, if only just to remind me of the good old glory days.

WHY I SPOOKED #5

spooks_final_production58

[ WHY I SPOOKED #5 ] Many people have asked if I’d been afraid when spooking others. What do you think? But of course. Nobody can guarantee that when ‘caught’ or discovered, you can get away with just a stare. If you think strangers will patiently listen while you try explaining your project or obsession, please, banish that thought.

The right to make pictures in public space is not a given one. You might be legally ok, but life is not just about the law.

I have several ways of approaching such situations. I seldom discover a scene in my viewfinder. So usually, I will see a ‘picture’ with my naked eyes, then I will decide – how should this look in that rectangle? how close should I get? what should I include?

Honestly, I don’t get as close as I can in most cases.

I do have reservation and fear. But I always tell myself not to run or argue when caught.

You know what are my two big fear when making pictures like these? One is when they turn around. Second is when someone taps me on my back and ask, “What do you think you are doing?”

No prize for guessing if I have a choice of a third eye, where should it be.

You can now order this book from http://taykaychin.com/spooks/2013/08/21/orderspooksnow/

The Rules I Made

559226_10151966977130057_624410517_n Cassandra Yeap

561250_10151988922280057_1810307540_n Mark Tay

555478_10153056760200057_1985591582_n
Josephine Tan & Sabrina Tiong

In discussing the pictures that eventually made the final cut, I think it is also instrumental to look at some that didn’t.

As photographer and editor, we make rules when making decisions. Some of the guidelines are really nonsensical, some logical.

For example, I was adamant that the book must not contain any picture of people known personally to me.

So the first two pictures – one of Go-Far participant Mark Tay, and another of Cassandra Yeap, were considered after many rounds of deliberations. I kept telling myself that rules were made by me, and therefore could be broken. One reason I gave to myself was that there is a picture of my girlfriend, so I have already bent my own guideline. But then she is different. And the argument would go on for weeks, for months.

In the end, I did include a picture of two students – Sabrina Tiong and Josephine Tan. Why these two and not the other two? Because the composition for this particular frame was significantly different from the rest.

I know I know, everything is arbitrary. But trust me, this is not the most ‘bizarre’ rule I made.

I was, ahem, also against including pictures involving young children for a long time. The ethical good man in me just wouldn’t entertain that idea.

But in the end, at least two made the final cut.

Why? Hmmm, let’s save it for another time.

You can now order this book, which contains 64 pairs of images from different parts of the world from http://taykaychin.com/spooks/2013/08/21/orderspooksnow/